(Close Window)
Topic: The effect of exposure
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (Apr 27, 2020 03:15PM)
In the Timeline thread in Latest and Greatest, Pegasus said that the timeline app was now useless because it had been exposed on youtube. I was initially going to reply there, but thought this was the better forum.

My thesis: exposure doesn't matter. I am not a professional magician. I perform only for friends and acquaintances in social situations. These people that I love don't think I have magic powers. I don't want them to think I have magic powers. Exposure only really matters if I do want my audience to think I can actually do the things I claim to do. And it matters in that case because it exposes me as a fraud. If I don't insist that my audience believe I have magic powers, then exposure is simply providing my audience with a HOW of something is done. Unless I am presenting tricks as puzzles to be solved, then the how doesn't really matter.

Of course being amazed is one of the central pleasures of magic, and bringing amazement to people is a great joy in magic. However, amazement is just a part of what makes magic so wonderful.

The Timeline app has been exposed, but so have thousands of other tricks. I am not arguing that exposure is good, but I am arguing that simply having a trick exposed does not make it useless. There are still countless ways you can effectively and entertainingly use the timeline app even if it has been exposed on youtube.

Please discuss.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Apr 27, 2020 04:18PM)
It is also amusing but exposer is sad.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 27, 2020 07:00PM)
The 3 card Monte and shell game have been exposed more than any other effect in the name of education for marks. People RUN to get in line to play those games. Has exposure slowed that down? I should argue no.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Apr 27, 2020 08:23PM)
I knew a crew who worked Three Card Monte by way of exposing how it worked to the mark. The mark was then persuaded to finance a game to take down a wealthy fake mark. The game takes place in the marks house and naturally, it goes wrong accidentally on purpose of course.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 28, 2020 03:13PM)
I've known one crew who worked it in the premise of "smartening up the mark"as described. Always interesting to let the mark think they are in on the con.
Message: Posted by: ChrisPayne (Apr 29, 2020 05:42AM)
This is highly topical as the Magic Circle is seeking to change its rules on the matter - with some pushback from members.
On a practical level, exposure exists and we have to live with it. I perform to give people a feeling of astonishment, provided they get that "moment" the main goal is met. Ideally I would like the memory to grow and become more impossible over time "the Tamariz "comet". I can live with a tiny minority willing to fret and even do online research to find the answer. For feature items I will layer methods to make that hard, also I will not use the common title of a trick to make it easier for them to find - so for example I don't refer to "Cards Across" with those words. Overall it keeps us on our toes...and I also believe that people with a bit of knowledge are often the ones easiest to amaze!
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (Apr 29, 2020 07:33AM)
Great points Chris. I agree that layering methods can really help in this regard, and not using the name of a trick is sensible. I’m not familiar with your reference to Tamariz , though it sounds as if he is talking about stretching the moment of astonishment further than just the initial moment. That is ideal and has little to do with how clever a method is and more to do with how engaged an audience is. This is easier to do in social magic as I already have relationships established with my audience and can tailor my magic to them.
Message: Posted by: weirdwizardx (Apr 29, 2020 10:22AM)
I think exposure forces us to be better magicians, at least in part. And I don't think that exposure has like a real lasting effect on audiences, they could learn the DL, but if they feel that it was just one card, an ACR will blow them away.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 3, 2020 05:52AM)
Building on the thought above," I am arguing that simply having a trick exposed does not make it useless."

I reflect on the times a secret gimmick or gaff has been "revealed" a direct exposure, or by the bunglings of a performer. What was actually revealed?
In many cases the "real secret" was not exposed, and the revelation of the "trick device" may actually serve to mask the real secret.

For example, a performer employs a shimmed quarter and it is revealed that it sticks to a magnet, either deliberately or accidentally.
Yes, that particular performance may be derailed - any long lasting affect depending on the skills of the performer to adapt.

but, the real secret is that the performer knew something the observers did not such as the location of that coin amongst others.
That knowledge enabled the performer to change the observed sequences of events and misdirect the 'moment of magic.' That was not revealed.

It was already accepted by the audience that the magician (conjuror) would be employing trickery, guile and SOH and amaze them, so nothing was lost there.
If the observers now look for a gimmick or gaff in every object in later effects they may be even more open to amazement from other methods.

For a mentalist, of course, is different. Any exposure of trickery can be fatal to the premise from which they work, meaning that a mentalist
must be more practiced in some SOH hand the conjuror (such as a billet switch).

Yet, I am sure most here are concerned about the deliberate exposure on YouTube and such rather than the exposure by the performer.

If so, I would suggest one always ask, "What is the secret revealed here? What Method remains intact? How do I use the exposure to advantage?"
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 3, 2020 09:27AM)
If magic effects were useful, they wouldn’t be art.
Message: Posted by: Wednesday (May 5, 2020 12:58AM)
One of e-sports greatest and most well known athlete is literally has his screen name as a basic card technique that every magician learns and knows. Arguably, even with that much "exposure" of the technique in today's jargon, most people don't even know what his screen name refers to still to this day.
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (May 5, 2020 11:26AM)
Interesting thinking Greg. The questions you ask at the end of your post ("What is the secret revealed here? What Method remains intact? How do I use the exposure to advantage?") resonate particularly with the Timeline app.

So, once a spectator realizes that time is not actually moving backward but rather your phone has been moved forward to move backward, what is left behind? If we are actually trying to convince an audience that we can move time backwards, then yes, the app has become useless. However, if we are using the app to suggest time has moved backwards and something has changed as a result then we can use the exposure to our advantage.

Audiences are likely to think along these lines regarding the app: "No way, my phone matches his phone and I just watched his phone go backward. Have we really jumped back five minutes in time? I mean, no, of course not, that's absurd, but I saw his phone go backward and now his time matches my time. What the hell? Oh wait, he probably just set his clock five minutes forward and figured out how to make it go backward. That's clever, but it's not really magic. But wait, he turned over a card in that deck before this even all started and she's been holding it the entire time and it's the card that matches what he said! What the hell? I mean, how the hell? I mean I know we all didn't travel back in time to make that happen but what other possible explanation can there be? We watched him turn the card over five minutes ago, and she's been holding the deck the entire time. Man, this is crazy."

So, as a standalone effect, Timeline is fairly limited, especially after it has been exposed. However, it's use as a utility for creating a visual convincer that time is moving backward despite our knowledge that it cannot, is tremendous. How can I use the exposure of the app to my advantage?

Well, if I was convinced that the exposure is pervasive enough that a good portion of my audience is aware of the apps existence (I am not convinced of this), then I would lean into the exposure and talk about the app openly as having the function of making it look like time moved backward. I would talk about how I've been playing around with it for the last few weeks and how cool it is. Then, I'd say something like, "But recently some weird things have been happening, and I don't know what to do about it" and then I'd go into something visual and direct in which the only possible "explanation" could be that we have traveled back in time.

However, I am not convinced that the exposure of this app has or is going to extend far into a layman audience. So, I'll continue to use it as a visual convincer that time is moving backward. Most of the time I use it, I don't even mention that is happening. If people see it, then they are usually freaked out and I just play it off, like, "Oh yeah, of course that happens. We have to go back in time to get this done". If they don't see it then no big deal.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (May 10, 2020 12:09PM)
I've never understood the point of referring to a trick by its name. To me, that just says the performer bought it or learned it, which means it's a product of some sort. If the performer could actually do magic, he or she wouldn't need to buy or learn "tricks." Harry Potter and company didn't refer to levitating something or opening something by a name: they just cast a spell and it happened.
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (May 10, 2020 12:25PM)
I agree George, even though I don't want my audience to really think I have magic powers. I can't really think of any good reason to use the name of a trick unless you are purposely exposing some aspect of it in order to create something else.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 10, 2020 02:12PM)
Professional magicians rarely use the term trick in their patter. The word trick is a technical term which essentially means the secret method or device and is primarily used when talking shop.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (May 10, 2020 04:27PM)
Of course not, Gatsby. My whole point is that treating a trick as a product by referring to its name is basically the same as demonstrating a gadget.

I would like to think that someone who performs magic would want the audience to think he or she made the magic happen. No different than a singer or comedian (for example) taking a joke or song and making it come alive.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 11, 2020 12:10AM)
I can't think of many reasons to use names of tricks.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 11, 2020 12:13AM)
[quote]On May 10, 2020, tommy wrote:
Professional magicians rarely use the term trick in their patter. The word trick is a technical term which essentially means the secret method or device and is primarily used when talking shop. [/quote]

Yea I'm not sure this is right. The method is the method, gaffes and gimmicks come to mind for the devices. I've never really used the word trick in this fashion you suggest.

Laymen use the word trick all the time however.

I could be way off.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 11, 2020 12:32PM)
When trying to explain how to do something I often use the phrase, the trick to it is, so and so. i.e. The trick to it is not to grip the cards too tightly, despite the word grip.
Message: Posted by: peppermeat2000 (May 11, 2020 01:12PM)
Is there an assumption that the average person actually has enough interest and time on their hands to seek and expose magicians secrets? If this is true, I suppose there should be concern to some extent.

Personally, the magicians I know who perform for a living are the last ones to bring up the topic of exposure. It's the guys at the monthly magic club meetings who seldom, if ever, perform that make this issue...an issue.

This is MY personal experience. I don't want to step on toes of anyone who has differing perspectives.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 11, 2020 02:18PM)
I have never worried about exposure.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 11, 2020 02:31PM)
Perhaps it hurts them to talk about it. The Vietnam veterans were the last ones to bring up the topic of Vietnam. :)
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 12, 2020 04:16AM)
[quote]On May 11, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]On May 10, 2020, tommy wrote:
Professional magicians rarely use the term trick in their patter. The word trick is a technical term which essentially means the secret method or device and is primarily used when talking shop. [/quote]

Yea I'm not sure this is right. The method is the method, gaffes and gimmicks come to mind for the devices. I've never really used the word trick in this fashion you suggest.

Laymen use the word trick all the time however.

I could be way off. [/quote]

I agree with Danny here, though I am not a professional in the way he is.

Yes, the concept of magic includes the idea of there being a "trick" involved, i.e. something the performer knows that the observer does not.
Many magic books includes puzzles and mental games only solvable if a person knows the trick. Spectators may cry, "Show me the trick,"
that is not a desire to learn how to perform it, only to discover the secret part that allowed them to be mystified/surprised.

Usually they are disappointed in learning it - or the offered explanation. If an explanation is given it need not be the real one at all.
Consider the sucker effects in which an exposure is provided or allowed as a mistake. Then the observer is set up for a greater surprise.

but, there is little advantage to a performer to refer to "trick" either as the secret or what came in the package - unless it is to set up the observers.

Jeff McBride may start of his show by explaining a trick. He used the "finger sausage" illusion the last time I saw him. It is a trick. It is not magic.
The, when everyone is busy playing with their fingers before their eyes, he lays his little sausage on the table. He is now established as a magician.
The work "trick" is never used again, nor any effect named. He just does things.

Magicians do not "do tricks" - they create conditions under which magic can occur in the mind of the observer.

It is accepted that some secret knowledge is involved - to remove fear if nothing else. There is nothing to expose except mechanics and devices that are no the real secrets at all.

At the end of any children's show I like to gift away packets of Adair's Butterfly. It can be performed by anyone and has a trick to it - a scientific principle.
It also touches on a greater magic of metamorphosis. Any ideas that I used tricks in my show is quickly forgotten.

What have I exposed?

The sadness is that anyone can easily "do tricks" while learning to perform effects is more difficult and leaving an audience with "must be magic" quite difficult.
With the ready exposure of the YouTube variety, many are attracted to performing magic for the wrong reason and stop with the "tricks" - never realizing the real secrets.

just opinions, of course. But in the tens of thousands of times I used a magic effect with business owners as part of a presentation or evaluation,
only a hand full asked, "what is the trick?" Those usually had a favorite trick they wanted to show me.

Most reacted with, "Oh, I have been looking at my problems the wrong way," or "Maybe my situation is not impossible to solve."

When performing for entertainment as Danny does the expectations of the audience is different, and tuning into that may be the greatest trick of all.

I choose not to perform that way any more since I am not very good at reading today's audiences. I don't what to expose my limitations.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 12, 2020 04:25PM)
Some professional magicians have never created a new trick in their life. Therefore, then, exposure of the tricks these magicians use does not violate their intellectual property rights but violates the intellectual property rights of the creators of them tricks. To the creators, exposure is like copying somebodies invention and giving it away or something like that. Some of the best creators did not perform as professionals but made a profit selling their tricks to those who did.

Now all the old creators are dead and gone having died from the effect of exposure. :)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 12, 2020 11:46PM)
Once it is sold any complaint of exposure really is silly.
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 13, 2020 07:50AM)
All that is hidden will be revealed, by the creator who needs the money. :)
Message: Posted by: balbec (Jul 21, 2020 11:56AM)
I understand there is a big controversy there, but come on, it has to be said... without some sort of exposure, there would not be any professionnal magician and probably no serious amator.

Exposure is the teaser that get child, teens and grow up interested in learning more. It makes them watch more than a couple of show, learn about the magician, then the arts, buy the books, the tools, the booklet and so on...

This should be obvious since any creative industy, from music to painting to sport, rely on the same information diffusion mecanism : top pros -> pros -> core fans -> fans -> general public. The core fans need to know more than the simple fans, who need to know more than the public, so they can educate and promote what there are doing. In magic, there would be no amateur magicians, no interested people... and then.... no public, if there were not a constant stream of exposure from one population to the other.

Want to promote magic? I mean, not individually, but as a community? Then let people know more, learn more, let them learn more about the DL, let them try it at home, and go from there to serious books and to deeper secrets without building walls everywhere. If millions of people were interested in knowing the last version of the KM, then books would sell more, great magician would be more famous, magic as a whole would get more attention.... and so on. Magic is large enough, deep enough, interesting enough not to worry about openess or exposure. New ideas will still be there, provided people are willing to see them.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Aug 14, 2020 12:25PM)
[quote]On Apr 29, 2020, ChrisPayne wrote:
For feature items I will layer methods to make that hard, [b]also I will not use the common title of a trick[/b] to make it easier for them to find - so for example I don't refer to "Cards Across" with those words. [/quote]

Oh, yes, this thing where some magicians announce the name of the marketed effect , it drives me crazy. Why not just give your audience a list of links so they can more easily look up how it's done , save them the trouble of typing it in to a search engine ? Here are two examples I noticed recently on YouTube:

[i]"___________ performs Levent's Salt Pour"[/i] (so now Google that trick title and see what you get)

and

[i]"___________ performs the Blaney Ladder Suspension."[/i]

Aside from the foolishness of giving out the marketed name of the trick , with something like the Blaney suspension illusion it's not about emphasizing the [i]ladders[/i] , duh ... it's about levitating/suspending a person in mid-air . The step-ladders should be incidental , they are just there to hold up the board. In the audience's view it could just as well have been a couple of chairs or sawhorses or crates , right ? So you don't call attention to the ladders in the title of your video. :no:
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 14, 2020 06:19PM)
[youtube]sOWuLjM04fs[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 15, 2020 07:02PM)
[quote]On Aug 14, 2020, David Todd wrote:
[quote]On Apr 29, 2020, ChrisPayne wrote:
For feature items I will layer methods to make that hard, [b]also I will not use the common title of a trick[/b] to make it easier for them to find - so for example I don't refer to "Cards Across" with those words. [/quote]

Oh, yes, this thing where some magicians announce the name of the marketed effect , it drives me crazy. Why not just give your audience a list of links so they can more easily look up how it's done , save them the trouble of typing it in to a search engine ? Here are two examples I noticed recently on YouTube:

[i]"___________ performs Levent's Salt Pour"[/i] (so now Google that trick title and see what you get)

and

[i]"___________ performs the Blaney Ladder Suspension."[/i]

Aside from the foolishness of giving out the marketed name of the trick , with something like the Blaney suspension illusion it's not about emphasizing the [i]ladders[/i] , duh ... it's about levitating/suspending a person in mid-air . The step-ladders should be incidental , they are just there to hold up the board. In the audience's view it could just as well have been a couple of chairs or sawhorses or crates , right ? So you don't call attention to the ladders in the title of your video. :no: [/quote]

I have not seen a magician use the marketed name of an effect, but would walk out if I did. No joke. I don't spend too much time at magic shows mind you, and only go to guys who work a lot so maybe that is a thing I don't know. But it astounds me anyone would actually do such a thing and call it "patter". (A word that bugs me in the first place but that is another thread.)
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Aug 15, 2020 07:18PM)
[quote]On Aug 14, 2020, tommy wrote:
[youtube]sOWuLjM04fs[/youtube] [/quote]

Yeah, ok, sure , but "The Cups and Balls" is the generic name of the effect (not a specific version), but it's also what you use in performing the effect (cups ... and balls ... ). Not sure what else you would call it ?

But if someone posted their video (intended for a lay audience, not for other magicians) titled "Dai Vernon's Cups and Balls Routine" or "Ross Bertram's Cups and Balls Routine" , or "Tommy Wonder's Two Cups and Balls routine" , that's where it gets questionable , giving too many bread crumbs for people to follow.

It's also one of those effects which if performed at an expert level (a la Ricky Jay) even IF someone looks up how it's done and sort of grasps the basics of the method, they're still going to be bamboozled by the expert handling.

Ricky Jay actually refers to what he is performing as “The History Lesson” and also calls it “The Game”, and mentions that early on some people called it “The Shell Game”. Most often he continues to refer to it by the generic title “The Game”. At the very end he concludes by saying [i]“and that’s the Mystery of the Cups”[/i]. But he never names it formally as “The Cups and Balls” in his performance. Someone else (not Ricky Jay) posted the video titled “Ricky Jay - The Cups and Balls Performance”.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 15, 2020 08:54PM)
Doing a cups and balls routine is by the very definition of the routine going to involve someone who can google cups and balls. It is not the point at all.